The Delhi High Court has directed Delhi Government to file status report explaining the reasons for slow disposal of COVID-19 related dead bodies.
The Court further directed the respondents to file status report/ affidavit, also stating whether the guidelines/ directions issued by Government of NCT of Delhi dated May 30, 2020, is scrupulously being followed.
The bench comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan was hearing a Suo-Motu Petition taking note of reports regarding slow disposal of the COVID-19 related dead bodies by GNCTD, especially in the context of the present Coronavirus pandemic.
The Counsel appearing for GNCTD submitted that besides Nigam Bodh Ghat crematorium now Pachkuiyan and Punjabi Bagh crematoriums are also authorised to dispose of the dead bodies of persons who were Covid positive or suspected to be Covid positive. Moreover, timings of the crematoriums which was 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. have now been extended to 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The court noted, “looking to paragraph -6 of the status report of Respondent No 1 GNCTD, it appears that as on 31st May, 2020 out of total 45 dead bodies only 7 were disposed of and now 10 new dead bodies were received. We would like to know from the respondents the reason for slow disposal of these dead bodies”.
The Court said, “It is one thing to issue the directions/ guidelines and it is absolutely a different thing to ensure the execution of those directions. We are not burdening respondents by adding any further directions to the directions already issued by the respondent No 1 on 30th May 2020. However, what we expect from the respondents is, proper execution of those guidelines/ directions so that the aforesaid dead bodies may be disposed of at the earliest and the relatives of those persons who have expired should be informed and other formalities be completed immediately”.
The matter has been listed for further hearing on May 15.
Read the order here;65765_2020
-India Legal Bureau